Melissa Popp No Comments

Roofcorp  has discussed ways in which roofs can be coated in materials to reduce smog and pollution and become another weapon against greenhouse gasses.  The University of Pittsburgh has joined the fight and  begun implementing some of these new materials on its campus buildings.

Dan Marcinko, the University’s Assistant Vice Chancellor and sustainability coordinator announced the plans to the media on Pitt’s direction on their sustainable roofing. Posvar Hall is being treated with a compound known as “Eco-Activ,” manufactured by Siplast.

The compound works by pulling nitrogen oxide out of the air and condenses onto the shingles. After they are bonded to the roof ultraviolet radiation reacts with the particles to transform them into harmless nitrates that are then washed away with the next rain.   Nitrogen Oxide is a greenhouse gas and respiratory irritant  that is emitted from automobiles, manufacturing and fossil fuel powered energy production. Eco-Activ has been shown to eliminate up to 85% of the nitrogen oxide molecules that it comes in contact with.

This comes from the Siplast website and from Kirk Goodrum, who is in charge of research and development as Siplast. Goodrum explains the hows the roof attacks the particles, “It changes it from a gas to a solid because in a gas form it can cause ground level ozone and can lead to respiratory issues.”

The one building coating by itself will not make a great impact on the amount of emissions pulled from the air, the one building will provide the equivalent of absorbing annual emissions from 200 vehicles. But its solid start, Marcinko believes that if it does well on Posvar Hall there is no reason it shouldn’t be implemented on more buildings.

Goodrum was asked about the potential use for the product in a residential setting and replied, “We primarily deal in commercial roofing, but nothing would restrict it from being used on a residential home.”

With the new renovation it is expected that Posvar Hall will not only clean the air but remain cooler as well. The renovation is expected to be completed by the fall semester of 2014. This is exciting new in the world of roofing and eco-design.